US dollar falls on Fed minutes

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New York, April 7 (IANS) The US dollar decreased against most major currencies as the latest Federal Reserve minutes showed that many central bank policy makers expressed concerns over a global economic slowdown in their last meeting.

In late New York trading on Wednesday, the euro rose to $1.1405 from $1.1386 of the previous session, and the British pound fell to $1.4123 from $1.4151, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Australian dollar went up to $0.7592 from $0.7530.

The dollar bought 109.60 Japanese yen, lower than 110.43 yen of the previous session. The dollar slipped to 0.9559 Swiss francs from 0.9562 Swiss francs, and it inched down to 1.3112 Canadian dollars from 1.3163 Canadian dollars.

According to the minutes from the Fed’s March monetary policy meeting released on Wednesday, “many participants expressed a view that the global economic and financial situation still posed appreciable downside risks.”

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The minutes said that policymakers signalled at the meeting that they expected the central bank to raise rates twice this year but the timing of hikes were still undecided. Moreover, a great number of Fed members stressed that the bank should proceed cautiously in raising rates.

“Many participants indicated that the heightened global risks and the asymmetric ability of monetary policy to respond to them warranted caution,” the minutes stated.

Analysts said that the minutes signalled that an increase at Fed’s April meeting is practically off the table and that it lowered market expectation for a rate-hike at the first half of this year.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six major peers, was down 0.20 percent at 94.440 in late trading.

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